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A full bladder helps the ultrasound echoes to reach your womb, giving the sonographer a good view of your baby.If your baby's still deep in your pelvis, or if you're overweight, the image won't be very clear.

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Sonographers are radiographers or midwives who are trained in ultrasound.

They usually have a postgraduate certificate, diploma or master's degree in medical ultrasound, and will carry out most of your scans.

But if your baby's lying in an awkward position, it's not always easy to tell.

Plus, some hospitals have a policy of not revealing the gender of a baby.

Your first scan is likely to be a dating scan when you're between 10 weeks and 13 weeks plus six days pregnant. In most cases, this will be combined with a blood test for increased accuracy.

In your second trimester you'll be offered an anomaly scan between 18 weeks and 20 weeks plus six days.

If you need any additional, special scans, these will be carried out by a doctor who is trained in ultrasound (fetal medicine specialist).

If you’re having a scan in early pregnancy, you’ll need to drink a few glasses of water beforehand.

The sonographer will use a cover similar to a condom and will lubricate this with plenty of gel, so it slides in easily.

She won't need to go in very deeply, and it won't harm you or your baby in any way.

A first trimester scan will check that your baby's heart is beating and also look at the basic anatomy of your baby’s head, abdominal wall and limbs.

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